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Messages - Mamoruanime
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Unpaid Work / Re: [Unpaid for now] Surface - An Exploration Platformer
« on: February 06, 2013, 04:49:18 am »
Unfortunately my deadline has jumped up considerably- I've been invited to present it at ConBravo in July, and while the interest seems to be high and there are a lot of great sprite submissions so far, I think I'm going to have to wing it, and change my progress rate a bit. I can probably throw together a decent demo by July myself, and I think after that I'll bring someone on for cleanup art and finalizing things a bit. I'd like to still keep this open though in case anyone has things they'd like to show.

Thank you!

Unpaid Work / Re: [Unpaid for now] Surface - An Exploration Platformer
« on: January 21, 2013, 07:36:01 pm »
Probably the biggest thing at this particular moment I'm looking for is an entity sprite designer- someone to create player, enemy, and boss assets. I can probably do the tile work without losing too much time on the development.

Unpaid Work / Re: [Unpaid for now] Surface - An Exploration Platformer
« on: January 19, 2013, 08:42:23 pm »
honestly, if that pic you showed me is drawn by you I dont understand why you want a new artist, it looks great already  :-\

I actually cover that in my first post---

Wait! You and Jordan do Pixel Art! Why do you need another artist?!
A couple of reasons- First off, I'm terrible with animations, and even worse with color selection. Secondly, I'd like to focus on the coding side of things. Thirdly, Jordan has other projects that he is working on, as well as other obligations to his own projects that keep him from doing a lot of artwork for Surface. It's just not practical to try to create all of the assets with our constraints, which leads me to the next point-

It's a time constraint thing, along with me having issues coming up with my own style. I can work off of a style just fine, however when it comes to creating a new one it's far more time consuming than it could be to someone more equipped to work on art, especially when I have a lot of programming to complete on a tight deadline.

Unpaid Work / Re: [Unpaid for now] Surface - An Exploration Platformer
« on: January 18, 2013, 09:24:31 pm »
Looks pretty good, however it's not quite what I'm going for. For the most part, I'm trying to give the appearance of sticking to some of the SNES/2d PSX limitations, and kind of pushing that to the limit- Lots of contrast, and depth to the artwork. Here's something I came up with when I was starting this project up again-

Sort of a Super Metroid feel, and a lot of contrast between the foreground and background. Granted I'm not entirely satisfied with the standard I've come up with--- but it gives an idea of the sort of look I'm going for :)

EDIT: Yowza, Junkboy's retweet of this is getting it a ton of views.

Unpaid Work / [Unpaid for now] Surface - An Exploration Platformer
« on: January 17, 2013, 10:03:54 pm »
What is Surface?
Surface is an exploration platformer with a taste of Blaster Master, Super Metroid, and Megaman with emphasis on players developing their abilities enough to play through the game very quickly if they know where they're going and what they're doing. It's a throwback to gaming in the late 80's and early 90's with some more modern flare.

Who is Involved?
Currently, I have myself (programming, pixel art), Jordan Chewning (pixel art cleanup), and Steven "surasshu" Velema (Music and SFX)

What am I looking for?
I'm looking for someone to take artistic control over the project. Not just an artist, but rather a partner in developing this game and helping create an atmosphere. I have ideas on how I want certain things to look, however I don't have the ability to put those ideas into pixels or paper, nor do I have the ability to determine if what I have in mind is going to look good or not in practice. I need someone who can not only create fluid animations, but also detailed, unique tiles and backgrounds to help make this game less monotonous and more memorable.

What does Unpaid for Now Mean?
It means I intend to sell this game using a pay-what-you-want business model. There's no set amount that the game could earn. I would like to have this project finance other projects, as well as pay the people involved in this. There are already a couple heavy hitters on the team, between Steven's extensive audio work (Force Majeure, Bollen, Cryamore, etc, etc, etc) and Jordan's amazing work on games like Zombie Grinder, and also Cryamore, and I'd like to have this come together to become a masterpiece.

Wait! You and Jordan do Pixel Art! Why do you need another artist?!
A couple of reasons- First off, I'm terrible with animations, and even worse with color selection. Secondly, I'd like to focus on the coding side of things. Thirdly, Jordan has other projects that he is working on, as well as other obligations to his own projects that keep him from doing a lot of artwork for Surface. It's just not practical to try to create all of the assets with our constraints, which leads me to the next point-

What is the Timeframe for Release?
The game is in the early stages of coding right now. It's been around since 2009, however it's had a few incarnations that just weren't cutting it. Now things have gotten serious for the development. Here is the release schedule:

March/April: Game is playable from the stand point that everything needed to complete the game with minimal graphical assets is in. The player can control the hero, the hero reacts to collisions correctly, and can use all of the upgrades planned. Minimal assets required, however some are needed to create the Kickstarter and Fundrazr to finance the project (that's where the unpaid for now part comes in). Room design begins taking shape between now and the next milestone date.

June: The game is completed in that it has a beginning and an end, and ready for play testing and press. Certain elements of the game may be unpolished, and graphics/audio/layout are subject to change at this point until December.

December: The game has been polished, cleaned up, adequately playtested, and ready for release. The game at this point is locked and unchanged until release.

January 2014: MAGfest. The game is presented at a booth at MAGfest along with a few challenges to get players warmed up to the game. The game is then released the 2nd day of MAGfest to the public under the pay-what-you-want business model.

That all being said, I'm kind of going for a Castlevania SotN-esque look for the game, however I'm not entirely sold on that because my own abilities limit me. The original design had the hero as a 16x16 sprite ala Cave Story, but the game has evolved since then, and I'd like a more serious tone and feel. There is a LOT of work involved, but it will be rewarded in that there is also a lot of potential PR from this project.

The current incarnation of the game has only one screenshot located on my Twitter page using a tileset I had made. It at least gives a feel for the sort of look I have in mind, however I love the idea of experimenting with the design.

Anyone interested in this project please post examples of your work, as well as a rough idea of how quickly you can work on things. I also want people who are willing to not only stick to what I have planned, but also conceptualize new ideas and put them into motion through tilesets and graphics for me to potentially add as well, because more than likely- I will add them. I'm also avoiding going into too much detail outside of what is provided--- More information will be provided to people the team feel would be a great fit.

Thank you!

Pixel Art / Re: Raziel Idle Pose
« on: February 07, 2009, 11:40:38 am »
I'm not so much saying my color choices are bad as I'm saying that it's bugging me a bit from it being lighter than the original Raziel texture's color range. The palette I did use was an existing SotN palette. My original palette sucked balls, so I rebuilt the sprite from the ground up, and posted it here :P (the original made me a bit discouraged). The mockup is simply a texture to tile composite, no clue if I'm going to go with that entirely. There are a lot of spots in SotN where styles clash with the backgrounds; I want to avoid that.

I am going to emulate the mist and fog to make the world more immersing. After all, it is a generally *dead* world, and if I can't capture that with the artistic design of the game, then the users would be missing out on a large chunk of what the games about :P

I do want to thank you all for the advice you've already given me :P I've applied a lot of it to the sprite already and I'm building from there.

Pixel Art / Re: Silverline mockup
« on: February 05, 2009, 09:09:53 am »
Very nice ^_^

The only thing I can see that is awkward is that the walls on the side's brick layout conflicts with the walls facing the camera's brick layout. Instead of them being angled | <this way, they're angled -- <this way. The walls are essentially doing this-


When they should be doing this-


If ya know what I mean :P

Otherwise it looks nice ^_^

Pixel Art / Re: Raziel Idle Pose
« on: February 05, 2009, 05:24:06 am »
that is a GREAT improvement with the last Raziel, I really didnt think it could get there. so  :y: for that

Main thing bugging me right now is that the pallete you've chosen makes all the features mushy. Now...I could see two ways to go about this....

1-embrace the mushyness and grab quite a few SR screens, grab the colors that often pop up on good ol Raz, then try to replicate the same atmosphere of misty gritty decay, which at present is not visible at all in your project, and IMO a REALLY BIG defining feature of the original game.

2-seek better contrast and define every shape, check some actual SOTN sprites...they abound now-a-days they're very good at stating just what's necesary and creating good clear volume. PLEAAAASE dont look at AOS's a miserable mishmash of clashing styles.

( are you going to do the spectral realm that deforms the BG in 2D? I really cant picture something called SR without that)

Yeah the palette is bugging me too lol... The original Raziel texture's color was bad too; sad thing is he's just really dark. I've never been good with color selection, and it's one of the reasons I quit spriting years ago... I'd hate to have to use an outline on him in-game, but it might be needed. I'll show an example of a few ideas I've had-

Raziel Original; No trail, No forced outline (bad)

Raziel - Forced Outline

Raziel - Trail

And finally, Raziel with both the outline and the trail


I'm not too terribly fond of the mixmatched styles in the DS Castlevania's, although they got better with PoR. The Raziel shot with the outline reminds me of the DS Castlevania games.

I would probably have to outline every vampire in the game though, just for uniformity. I think it gives it a bit of an ethereal feel, but I don't know.

Also I should mention that the background is just a quick mockup I threw together using textures from Soul Reaver. Doesn't look too different from SotN though.

I'm going to rework his palette quite a bit though to match the original feel but not appear too dark for 2d low res.

Also- the transition to the spectral realm will be easy :) We're using a vectoring technique, so most of the tiles and stuff will actually be 3d textured objects that will bend and move when you transition. Some simple objects may be fully 3d, and twist and stuff, so it should look decent. The background images however are another story; I need to figure out how exactly we're going to handle those images. May need to make them all extremely multilayered to manipulate everything properly. Either way, I never hold back when it comes to visuals in games, so it should still be neat :P

Pixel Art / Re: Raziel Idle Pose
« on: February 04, 2009, 04:22:36 am »
Most of Jad's critiques still apply. More definition of character is needed, physiological knowhow is also needed.

Don't start an animation just drawing the next frame after this frame and then the next. First keyframe, then draw the paths you need and then animate the in-betweens. Someone more knowledgable like Ptoing or Fool or Conceit on matters of animation will probably chime in when you've got something more than what you have, but I'm just trying to save you some grief early on.

Yeah, I always keyframe- I only did the next frames just to get a feel of how difficult it's going to be to animate him :P Those will probably not be used at all. It's more of a "Well does this look right while he's moving? Nah... *changes*" sorta thing. Actually it served it's purpose, because after having made those 2 other frames, and gotten more of a 3d mental image of how I want raziel to look, I see that his idle stance's legs are too small, and his body looks sorta goofy in comparison.

Although, after reading through this thread, I replayed Soul Reaver a bit to get an idea of Raziel's idle stance. He doesn't really *hunch* as much as he just moves around a lot... He bobs his legs up and down, and moves his torso side to side. I'll capture that in his final idle pose animation. The biggest difference between my initial idle pose and the original 3d idle is that his arms... are too close to his sides in mine. It looks odd in comparison :P

Pixel Art / Re: Raziel Idle Pose
« on: February 03, 2009, 04:43:38 am »
Styles are vague, do not compromise readability because of 'style', not even SOTN did that.

Alucard has his cool guy pose because it expresses his character. Raziel is FALLEN and TORN, so he stands much more hunched and non-proud than Alucard. Wider pose, I guess. Reference first-guy for pose I'd say!

Also please more definition on his legs. Alucard's legs look like straight cylinders because he's wearing trousers and boots.

Making Raziel's legs look like pants does not really make the style SOTN so drop some of those breaking-style-fears and define, define, define!11

Raziel is not a normal human, his physiology is like a skeleton with some rudimentary muscles and some blue paint all over that. Thus there is a lot of difference between the wideness of joints and limbs.

All of this should be visible in the finished sprite, but isn't, so congratulations, you can now make your sprite more better!

If I sound like an ass please just imagine this post with a happy tone! I'm desperate to go to bed so I'm just splurting out the last critique I've got in the system!

Also Good luck and never give up!11

Oh plus, shading-wise you're close to the original 'style' and stuff so you're obviously on the right track, and it's obvious that you've got some good pixel skills, so don't doubt that yourself, and don't doubt that I think so either for even a second! <3

Yes. That's it, good night!

Actually you gave me the responses I wanted :P Instead of focusing simply on the change from one style to another, you focused on the pixels themselves :P I'm going to work on those very things ^_^

Also Gil- Raziel has no lower jaw :p his head is going to be a tad smaller.


I've made some minor tweaks to Raziel;

Nothing major though; I touched up his legs a bit, and removed the stay knee pixels. I've given the illusion of a slight hunch; it was lacking the full scarf before, and I think that helped imply that he's hunching a bit more, along with the additional leg definition. I added the rest of his hair, since he has 2 pointy bangs that pop out. His scarf has been expanded, and I'm using an additional color outside of the existing 3 on the brown cloth parts (the darkest blue already on Raziel appears to fit well). I'm still working on these things; so this is just a quick edit.


I've been fleshing out the sprite a bit, and started working on the lead-in to his run animation. I started the animation primarily to see how easy it would be to animate him having so many colors (I'm not the best animator either when it comes to sprites.)

As a WIP I came up with this; keep in mind, I'm still working on all 3 sprites-

Please note that I am aware of the goofiness of the legs during that animation. It's still a WIP. Also please note that this animation will never go to frame three, and directly back to the first frame. It's a lead in. A lead out will handle going back to the idle pose.

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